Salesforce Newly Acuired Startup Raises Curiousity Regarding the Cloud CRM Leader’s Approach to Mobile Security

Salesforce has recently expanded its collection of identity and access management tools with the recent acquisition of mobile two-factor authentication company: Toopher.

The Austin-based startup, which counts LastPass, MailChimp, and the universities of Oklahoma and Texas as its customers, uses a smartphone’s location-awareness capabilities to provide two-factor authentication. In the Toopher model, when an authentication request comes from a new or unrecognized location, the user receives a notification from the Toopher app with the details of the request. The user can then approve or deny the authentication.

Business People Working at Lunch

The capabilities will be folded into Salesforce’s cloud platform, according to a statement left behind on the Toopher website:

“we are thrilled to join Salesforce, where we’ll work on delivering the Toopher vision on a much larger scale as part of the world’s #1 Cloud Platform. We can’t imagine a better team, technology and set of values with which to align.” The note then thanked the company’s users and clients, adding, “Even though we will no longer sell our current product, our commitment to your security remains steadfast (as does our love for breakfast tacos).”

This adds to the unveiling of Login Flows in October, a new option added in the Winter 15 release of Salesforce.com that allows developers to customize logins by invoking additional business processes. In addition, Salesforce.com was active in the development of OpenID Connect, an authentication protocol used across SaaS, mobile apps, enterprise and other resources.

But what does that mean for us users? Will the new authentication raise user effort levels? Will security be at the expense of simplicity?

Well, given that Salesforce sells products that allow businesses to manage relationships, as well the data and information associated with them, adding two-factor authentication for those who want to access that data makes a lot of sense. Mobile security is likely to get increasingly important for Salesforce, particularly as it begins to expand its’ reach to newer devices, giving users the ability to run their businesses on the move-  The company announced last month its’ Salesforce1 for Apple Watch.

With these details in mind, it is reasonable to assume that Salesforce prefers safety first, and while I didn’t find further details from Salesforce spokeswoman Karly Bolton and Toopher co-founders Josh Alexander and Evan Grim, it’s still early to determine the exact way Toopher’s tool are meant to fit in Salesforce’s apps. Don’t forget to read salesforce tricks, to gain better results.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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